Meet Kate Cole, Co-owner, Buyer, & Personal Stylist
How long have you been at Carriage House?
I first started working at CH when I was about 17 years old...so off and on for 20+ years. Marella Adams took a chance on me, and she and Jimmy (the original owners) taught me everything I know about style, retail, and most importantly, customer relationships. Nicole and I bought the store in 2017.
How do you help clients build their wardrobe?
I love helping clients build a wardrobe composed of pieces that all work together in harmony. Everything works and can be worn with everything else. And nothing is only worn with one certain piece.
What is your specialty?
Taking what my client already has in her closet and giving it new life by adding a few key essential pieces. Every client I’ve ever helped has a lot more to work with than they think they do. I love helping them identify the few key pieces she needs to add, and using those pieces to enhance everything she already has hanging in her closet.
What are a few style tips or rules you live by?
I’m a big believer in alterations. One quarter of an inch can kill an entire outfit. A dress that’s too big is just as bad as one that’s too tight. Spend a few extra dollars getting the perfect fit and you’ll look like a million bucks every time.
Advice to anyone starting to build a wardrobe?
I vote quality over quantity every single time. You don’t need more in your closet, you need better pieces that stand the test of time...and trend. And if you don’t love it, don’t buy it! I’d rather have one exquisite blouse that I absolutely love than ten mediocre blouses that I think are just okay. In the long run, thinking in terms of price-per-wear, you’ll get a far better return on investment with that one better piece you love than you will on all those other pieces you bought just because they were on sale combined.
Favorite trend for Fall 20
Fall trends kind of did a 180 when Covid hit, as our places to go are far more limited. But I do have a few favorite looks that I can’t wait to wear. 1) Menswear is always a personal favorite. If one of our designers had a tuxedo in their collection I will most assuredly be wearing it this fall. Kevan Hall’s asymmetrical jacket design topped my list. I bought two of his and will be wearing them on rotation, along with one in emerald green from Iris Setlakwe. 2) I’m really excited about how important a flared leg is for Fall. Avenue Montaigne makes the perfect pair - pull-on, slim through the hips, flares at the knee. Machine washable. They’re our new favorite pant line. 3) Army Green - it’s the new neutral and goes with almost everything. I love pairing it with a really feminine shell pink. That juxtaposition of tough and soft is brilliant.
Most important essential piece to have in your wardrobe?
The “Odd” Jacket. This could be a blazer or cropped swing jacket or leather moto style. The most important feature is that it goes with just about everything in your closet...over your favorite sheath dress, with a pencil skirt for work, paired back with jeans and a T-shirt for the weekend. It goes everywhere and with everything!
Daphne Guinness and Diane Keaton - I love their edge. Both have always remained true to their own personal style, and they’ve always dressed for themselves, not anyone else. That takes guts. Tom Ford tops my list of favorite designers. Everything he cuts is a masterpiece.
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